Solar Eruptions and Space Weather
Join us to hear from Dr David Pontin Associate Professor, from University of Newcastle School of Information and Physical Sciences, who will describe the eruptions in the Sun’s atmosphere that drive space weather, together with the solar wind that flows outwards from the Sun to fill the heliosphere.
As our closest star, the Sun provides a unique “laboratory” for observing processes going on throughout astrophysical plasmas. However, the magnetic field, plasma, radiation and particles also directly
influence conditions on Earth and in near-Earth space. These conditions can change rapidly in response to the Sun’s magnetic activity, leading to so-called space weather events.
Understanding the physical processes that drive space weather is becoming increasingly important as we become increasingly reliant on critical space-based infrastructure, and as space industry, exploration, and tourism rapidly expand.
David Pontin’s research interests include mathematical and computational modelling of fluids and plasmas, with a particular focus on understanding the dynamics of the Sun’s atmosphere. He obtained his PhD from The University of St Andrews in 2004, and subsequently took up postdoctoral research positions at the University of Waikato (New Zealand) and then the Space Science Centre at the University of New Hampshire (USA). From 2007 to 2019 he worked at the University of Dundee in Scotland, at levels from Lecturer to Professor in Applied Mathematics. In October 2019 he joined the
Physics Department in Newcastle. In 2011 he was awarded the Philip Leverhulme Prize for Astronomy and Astrophysics.